So once again we have survived.

Archive for the ‘Blog Post (short for weblog)’ Category

Programming note

Friday, May 12th, 2017

Hey friends,

I usually try to do four reviews a week – this time I accidentally ended up one short. Most likely I won’t be posting again until Tuesday, except maybe some touristy tweets from Memphis, where I’ll be over the weekend for family/vacation type business. I look forward to getting back up to speed again soon. Have a good weekend everybody and as usual thanks for reading.

–VERN

p.s. I hope the shit doesn’t pop off this weekend!

 

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Happy Yaddle Appreciation Day

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

Hey everybody. As you know, certain people enjoy lispy puns, and have turned “May the 4th” into the international day to celebrate Star Wars. Which seemed like a pretty good idea a few years ago when there wasn’t a new Star Wars movie coming out at all times.

You know I enjoy the Star Wars but in case some of you get sick of hearing about it today I thought it would be a good time to re-up one of my favorite series I’ve ever done, LUCAS MINUS STAR WARS. By going through 44 years of everything Lucas had his name on that was not Star Wars-related I think I really showed (or at least convinced myself) what a force (get it) he was in Hollywood even outside of his most beloved creation (Yaddle).

So here for your convenience are links to all Lucas reviews (including a few, like HOWARD THE DUCK, that I wrote before that series) in release order:

THX 1138
AMERICAN GRAFFITI
MORE AMERICAN GRAFFITI
KAGEMUSHA
BODY HEAT
RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
TWICE UPON A TIME
INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM
MISHIMA: A LIFE IN FOUR CHAPTERS
LATINO
LABYRINTH
HOWARD THE DUCK
CAPTAIN EO
WILLOW
POWAQQATSI
TUCKER: THE MAN AND HIS DREAM
THE LAND BEFORE TIME
INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE
The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles
RADIOLAND MURDERS
INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL
RED TAILS
STRANGE MAGIC

And, ah hell, I guess I should include my Star Wars writings too. “STAR WARS NO BAGGAGE REVIEWS” was also a proud time in outlawvern.com history, so here they are plus my Ewok ones and the post-Lucas ones:

STAR WARS
THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
RETURN OF THE JEDI
THE EWOK ADVENTURE aka CARAVAN OF COURAGE
EWOKS: BATTLE FOR ENDOR
STAR WARS EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE
STAR WARS EPISODE II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES
STAR WARS EPISODE III: REVENGE OF THE SITH
DISNEY’S STAR WARS MINUS LUCAS: THE FORCE AWAKENS by Disney
ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS SUPPLEMENT

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

“The 30 Greatest, Straight-Up Ass-Kicking Action Movies of the Century” by me

Monday, April 17th, 2017

Hello friends,

I promise that tomorrow I’ll post my take on that one new movie, the most important movie of all time since Thursday. (It will be a spoiler-filled review so we can discuss all the business.) But today please allow me to shine the spotlight on this piece I did for the websight Thrillist about the best action movies of the modern age.

At first they approached me to do the greatest shootout scenes of all time. I felt unqualified and suggested this instead. During my research I found that at least a couple other major outlets have done a version of this subject and their choices have some overlap with mine, but I believe I discuss them in more depth than most people do. The assignment was a so-called listicle that is genuine analysis, not just clickbait.

If you’ve been a regular here for a while you won’t be surprised by most of my choices, but I really did put alot of work into it including rewatching some of the contenders and catching up on some things I had missed. I tried to make sure each entry addresses both the quality of the action and something more substantive about what makes the story or characters great.

My longer first draft said in the intro, “I know how this works. I fully expect you to scoff at some of my choices, snubs, and unscientific rankings. That is your duty as a free-thinking, list-reading movie lover.” So I encourge you to do that here. I have a hunch about certain exclusions that will be controversial, so I’m especially interested in what you guys would include on your lists that didn’t make mine.

Here’s the link:

The 30 Greatest, Straight-Up Ass-Kicking Action Movies of the Century

 

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Atomic Blonde trailer

Friday, March 10th, 2017

I mean honestly, I didn’t need any more information after the fight at the beginning. But yes, this is from the co-director of JOHN WICK. It’s based on a graphic novel, adapted by Kurt Johnstad, who I think did a good job on the 300 movies. And kudos for noting Charlize’s Academy Award after showing her kick a dude down some stairs. I got high hopes.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Oscar shit 2017

Friday, February 24th, 2017

I’m a little less excited than usual for the Oscars this year. Maybe it’s because there’s nothing I’m passionately rooting for, like MAD MAX: FURY ROAD last time. Or maybe it’s because shit is so bad it’s harder for me to care about the small stuff at the moment. But I still like the tradition and as usual I made sure to watch all of the best picture nominees, so here are a few thoughts on that.

Yes, you are correct, there is no way to scientifically measure or rank the artistic success of movies, and there is politics involved and my very favorite movie of a given year never wins. But I think this year is a real good example of how you can look at what got nominated and get a good idea what our country, or at least our film industry, cares about at this moment in time.

Take HELL OR HIGH WATER. Personally I thought the political subtext was the clumsiest aspect of the movie, but I’m sure it’s what got it nominated. Not just a cops and robbers procedural, it’s about farmers and war vets tired of their people being screwed over by the banks. And beneath that it’s a reminder of the history of our country and who it was stolen from. I should watch it again because I bet it wouldn’t seem as heavy-handed as the first time. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

new article

Saturday, January 7th, 2017

I wrote a new piece, The State of Action Filmmaking, 2017, sort of a 2016 in review. I thought it was for The Village Voice actually but it has surfaced on the L.A. Weekly. So check it out. I am proud to get a big picture of Michael Jai White in the L.A. Weekly, I don’t know how often that happens.

THE ARTICLE IS HERE

 

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Beat it, 2016

Friday, December 30th, 2016

Hey everybody,

Sorry I’ve been out of commission since Christmas. I didn’t intend to take a vacation, but some bots got stuck inside the datas or whatever (don’t know all the technical jargon) and totally crashed the sight. I guess somebody was mad at my dangerous message about the Star Wars prequels being interesting or something, I don’t know. It’s been getting worse all month and suddenly my sight was totally dead for days. Luckily Chris is on the case (please thank him) and it seemed like it was working yesterday and still this morning, so I was already to go and I wrote this and then as I was finishing up it was back to 503 Service Unavailable land.

But if you are reading this then apparently you are reading this, and that’s good. I thought I would do a year in review and link back to some of my favorite things on outlawvern.com from this last year.

First, a toast to 2016:

Goodbye and good riddance, 2016, you cruel and treacherous sonofabitch. You genius-killing, hope-destroying, progress-devouring monster. You ignorant, ought-to-fucking-know-better-you’re-an-adult, bullshit-Facebook-post-believing, perfectly-willing-to-enable-open-racist-oppression-and-claim-it’s-just-economic-anxiety stooge of a year. You injured us, you tortured us, you brought shame on us, and then made fun of us for it. Now you are over and it’s worse than the fucking Comedy Central Roast of Chevy Chase – not one sympathetic soul will step forward to defend you. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS trailer

Monday, December 12th, 2016

some discussion points after the jump

(read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

I wrote a thing for Punch To Kill #2

Friday, November 11th, 2016

tn_p2kOver the years, I have given the impression to some that I look down on the comic strip books. In the interest of my new mission of spreading positivity throughout the universe, I have decided to make amends by providing an essay for the back of one of these picture pamphlets.

It’s called PUNCH TO KILL, it’s an independent comic by some Seattle guys, artist Marc Palm and writers Kevin Clarke and Wil Long. I wrote a page about women in b-action for the back of issue #2, but you should know about the thing anyway. So far it’s a gorey pop culture fever dream about a bunch of colorful characters having duels to the death and showcasing different fighting styles and finishing moves. I gave them a list of fighting tournament movies they should watch for research, but to me it seems to be influenced mainly by street fighting video games, GI Joe ninja stories, Lone Wolf and Cub and Shaw Brothers movies. My favorite thing about it is the sound effects:

still_p2k

Anyway, definitely check it out if you’re into this type of business. THIS IS WHERE YOU ORDER IT FROM.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Hey everybody

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

Thanks for checking in. Apologies for the lack of new reviews. I have many things in the works, some punching and more horror business and what not. But I really feel like my next review should be something very positive and constructive. I’m getting there.

In times like this I turn to Stevie, so in case you need an uplift too I have a song to share with you. This is a religious song, and I’m not a religious person. I mean, I’m a scoundrel, sometimes I’ll try praying when shit gets scary (lately) or when someone I care about dies (too often), figuring if Someone’s not out there to listen at least I’m putting my thoughts together or sending out good vibes or something.

But I kind of feel like listening to music is my version of spirituality. Going to a P-Funk show is the closest I get to those ladies fanning themselves and speaking in tongues in the revival tent. There are pieces of music I love so much they can take me to a higher mind state and make me feel better about life. I can go to church on a piece of music.  I got a weird habit of putting on headphones at 2:30 am and listening to some song intently and getting real emotional, even teary-eyed just thinking about the way the notes move my soul. Recent examples include “Purple Rain” and “Maggot Brain.”

But one time not long ago I put on this song and I just thought about how if you were someone like Stevie, you had sounds like this coming instinctively out of you, of course you would be a religious person. It must feel like some godly voice is speaking through you.

Whatever it is, his voice and attitude and rhythms always soothe me, so try this one out if you need it.

You know what? That’s beautiful and all, but that might’ve not been a strong enough choice, we might need some more funk for this funk. I think we are gonna need to have Stevie at prime 1970s funk levels. And we’re gonna need his band set up just on a street somewhere. In fact, we’re gonna specifically need them to be performing on Sesame Street.

Unfortunately there are no Muppets in this clip, but it still looks like the greatest block party ever. Check out the kid at 4:11 rockin out like he’s on the Peanuts Christmas special.

https://youtu.be/_ul7X5js1vE

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.